The Easter Story
I have always struggled with the idea that Easter can exist without Palm Sunday and Holy Week. For many, many years growing up we would only attend Easter Sunday services. We never really went to the three services that separate Palm Sunday from Easter Sunday.
I did not really appreciate the joy of Easter morning at the church until I found my way into the Holy Week services in college. The Great Three Days - the Triduum - help to frame the picture of Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Christ.
Maundy Thursday - the confession and absolution begin the service that will mark the final celebration of the Lord’s Supper until Easter.
Good Friday - the Passion is read (or acted out or told or…) to remind us of the final day of the life of Christ. It is not a happy service in the sense of the story but it is a powerfully emotional experience that places you in the tomb awaiting the dawn of the resurrection.
The Great Vigil of Easter - my favorite service. The “new fire” is lit and the paschal candle is blessed. We hear stories from the Hebrew Scriptures that tell us of our salvation history and we get to finally short the alleluias that we so carefully refrained from saying during Lent.
All of these services help to tell us the Easter story. The resurrection is why we celebrate Easter, but the message and life of Christ - and even his death - are the formative stories about who we are as a faith community. We commemorate his story of life to death to life again every time we celebrate the Eucharist. The Vigil helps to remind us of some great stories of salvation that pre-date the life of Jesus, but are none the less part of God’s story with us.
It is my hope that you might consider joining us, virtually, for these three services. Each will be sent out at 7:00 PM starting Thursday. If you have questions or wish to talk more, please reach out to me.
May you have a blessed Holy Week!